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    The Meltdown

    Consumer Confidence Hits All-Time Low

    Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

    That hope Ben Bernanke is selling can’t come soon enough: Consumer confidence fell to an all-time low in February, signaling that consumption will probably slump even further and push unemployment upwards. The reading this month was 25, the lowest since data collection began in 1967 and down from a January reading of 37.4. In other economic wreckage: Home prices fell 18.5 percent in December from a year earlier, the biggest drop since data collection began in 2001; Target’s fourth-quarter profits fell 41 percent; and Macy’s fell 59 percent.